The Kokoda 30 km Challenge

Yesterday I completed another challenge, this one was the Kokoda 30km trail run through the Brisbane Forest. My body was still a little weary from last week’s Great Wall marathon and lack of sleep but I managed to pull of the task.

After some speeches, the last post and a minutes silence, we (myself, Scott and Tania) headed off at 7am into the bush and hills. OMG nonstop steep hills!!!
Next year if I participate I must remember to take my trekking poles, especially for when climbing back up out of the Hell Hole! Every single muscle was being used at some stage or the other and this could be felt the following day, our bodies felt like they have had an awesome all over work out, quite stiff and sore in all muscles and joints!!!

The morning was alittle cool but about half an hour in we soon warmed off and stripped our long sleeve compression tops off. It turned into a gorgeous day to be trekking and running through the bush and forest.

We had on our green “Smells Like Team Spirit” shirts with the print proudly sponsored by Design House! Every time we passed people they said, “There goes the green team again!”

My cousins Amanda, Mark and their friend Tom also had a three persons team called the “Challengers!”

I ended up having to dig deep after the Hell Hole and came in half an hour in front of my team. I was feeling so drained from the week before I had to keep moving while I had the energy, I couldn’t keep stop starting to catch my breath on every hill, I just had to keep moving! Pain was starting in my knee from my PFPS so I had to get finished asap!

My run keeper said I came in at 4:57:07 mins.
Doing 32.4km with an elevation climb of 1,257m!!!
Why the extra 2.4km?
Coming to a crucial turn that was unmarked all us at the front of the pack turned right and followed the leaders perhaps up to 100 people. Until someone came along and said we were going the wrong way, so all had to turn around and head the other way! On the way back some signage magically appeared!!
All the leaders were now up to 2 to 4km off track!
Why there was no marshal on the track to direct people and correct signage was commented on by several competitors.

When I finally ran in under the finish line the woman who was supposed to scan my bib to take my time said she didn’t think she would till the rest of my team came in?
I queried how am I supposed to know my official time?
A man I had chatted to at one stage during the race came and spoke to me while I waited for the others, he said he left his mate half way as he was lagging and they agree to do this before the race due to different fitness levels and said he got scanned in. I also passed several other people on their own on the track.
I decided to go back to the time station and informed them I wished to have my bib scanned.
After I said you have done this for others, the lady said, “yeah well we probably weren’t supposed to??”
(one would assume a time marshal would have been briefed on what to do and know their role thoroughly for a competition race?)
Anyway I FINALLY had my bib scanned at 12:09:32pm, 15 minutes after I had completed the race!
My team came in another 17 minutes after this at 05:26:55mins which was a fantastic result!
The woman said the time on our certificates would be the time of the slowest runner to come in. I said that’s fine, makes sense?
Our team time would have been over 20+mins shorter for our team if we hadn’t of run an extra 2.4km due to the direction error plus a time marshal delaying my individual result by 15mins on top of this. The website also gives you your INDIVIDUAL RESULTS official time … it would be nice to have that correct to try to better in the future.

There was quite a long delay for people registering, some competitors were still lined up when we started the race. As this was the Inaugural race I’m sure some systems could and will be improved upon for next year.

Our team ended up coming 9th out of 51 – three person teams so that was an Awesome result considering doing an extra 2.4km on top of the original 30km plus we are amateur fun runners!!
All in all we had a fantastic day and desipte those couple of things the event was really well run and fun, so thank you to the volunteers and organisers … the weather was magical ….there was a free sausage sizzle afterwards … we met heaps of nice and motivated people on the course …. and have many great memories of a tough but doable challenge…. I dare say we will be back next year and highly recommend this event to anyone seeking a fun adventure with your mates!!
What an Awesome experience to have the opportunity to take part in the Inaugural Event, this should grow to be huge!


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